Renowned Scholar Mihai Nadin Joins Faculty

Computer Graphics Pioneer to Head New Institute;

Arrival Strengthens UTD’s Arts and Technology Programs

Dr. Mihai Nadin, a pioneer in the field of computer graphics and an internationally known scholar in computer applications for art and design and in human-computer interactions, has joined the faculty of The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) as Ashbel Smith Professor.

Dr. Mihai Nadin

Nadin will be affiliated with both the School of Arts and Humanities and the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science. His leadership is expected to strengthen the university’s degree programs in arts and technology and the Institute for Interactive Arts and Engineering, both joint projects of the two schools.

Nadin will also serve as director of a newly established Institute for Research in Anticipatory Systems that focuses on “anticipatory computing,” or embedding the characteristic of anticipation in software for computers and other devices. The new institute, known as ANTE, was represented recently in Germany at ORGATEC, the largest world fair dedicated to the office as both workplace and environment for creative interaction.

“UTD is indeed fortunate to have a great scholar with a truly international reputation join our faculty,” said Dr. Hobson Wildenthal, the university’s executive vice president and provost. “Professor Nadin is known throughout the world for his groundbreaking interdisciplinary work that ranges across the arts, computer science and cognitive science.

“Professor Nadin brings a wealth of academic experience to UTD – including appointments at such prestigious institutions as the University of California-Berkeley, Stanford University, the Rhode Island School of Design and Ohio State University – that will serve the university and its students extremely well,” Wildenthal said. “This is a key hire for UTD at an important juncture in our drive to become a top-tier university.”

Dr. Dennis Kratz, dean of the School of Arts and Humanities, called Nadin “a 21 st century Renaissance man, at home in the humanities and in science. We expect he will make a significant contribution to UTD’s innovative interdisciplinary effort to explore and exploit the synergies between art and technology.”

Born and educated in Romania, Nadin was among the very early scholars to address the relationship between computers and human creativity. His interests tracked his education – he has advanced degrees in computer science and philosophy.

Computational design, or the design of products and processes through the use of digital means, is a discipline founded by Nadin. He established and directed the world’s first Computational Design Program at the University of Wuppertal in Germany.

Nadin was recruited to UTD in large measure through the efforts of Dr. Thomas Linehan, who established the Institute for Interactive Arts and Engineering when he arrived at the university in 2002. Linehan worked with Nadin at Ohio State in the mid- to late-1980’s and believed his former colleague would be a perfect match for the institute’s charter.

“It’s hard to imagine anyone, anywhere with the breadth and depth of knowledge of Mihai Nadin when it comes to the marriage of art and technology, which is the focus of the institute,” Linehan said. “Not only is Mihai a prolific thinker, lecturer, writer and consultant, but he is also an outstanding teacher – and that will be part of his role at UTD.”

According to Linehan, Nadin will teach arts and technology, humanities and computer science courses.

The author of 23 books and countless articles, Nadin has lectured and written extensively on the mind, anticipation and dynamic systems, visualization, ubiquitous computing and various aspects of human-computer and human-technology interaction. He is credited with introducing various terms and phrases that have found wide usage throughout society, including “semiotic machine,” “post-industrial society,” “the civilization of illiteracy” and “anticipatory computing.”

Since his first involvement with the computer in the 1960’s, Nadin has espoused ways to involve computing in education and creativity, and later, with the advent of desktop computers, in art and design education. He taught some of the first known classes in many areas related to computer science.

Nadin holds a Ph.D. degree in aesthetics from the University of Bucharest and a post-doctoral degree in philosophy, logic and theory of science from Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich, West Germany. He earned an M.S. degree in electronics and computer science from the Polytechnic Institute of Bucharest and an M.A. degree in philosophy from the University of Bucharest.